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Fishing/Betts Bamboo Pole Cork Handle


Hello, I have a vintage Betts Fishing Tackle Bamboo pole made in Detroit Michigan. Two piece pole 64" in length with 10" Cork handle with yellow plastic end cap. 74" overall length. Four eyelets with a green and off white stripped at each end of the eyelets. Two aluminum rings on the cork handle that slide for a reel. What can you tell me about this nice pole? Thank You Shannon.

Hello Shannon,

Please forgive me but I am far from an expert on antiques (and do not profess to be in my bio) but I am an expert on their repair and refurbishment. For a full background on your rod, you would be better served seeking information from a site that specializes in antiques: or are good places to start. However, I have done a bit of research on the Betts tackle company of old so I will happily give you what I have, be it slight.

The Betts manufacturing from this era is not the Betts Lure company that is still in business today and is in no way connected. ( Recently contacted them in North Carolina). What I have found is that the rods...bamboo early on, then solid fiberglass later, were typically imported and marketed under the Betts name but there was a manufacturing facility in Detroit that did produce fishing tackle from the post WWII era but information has proven hard to find.

One key to your rods age is the "plastic cap". Plastic was just beginning to be used as an inexpensive alternative to other material after the war mentioned before.

The sliding rings are for securing the reel to the rod and were again, a less expensive feature of entry level and mass produced rods...although you may still find them on rods even now.

It sounds as though it may be in good condition. If it is split cane, the glues that were used to laminate the five or six pieces together may have become brittle, so it may not be fishable. If it is solid Tonkin cane (unlikely), it may still be strong enough to use.

Unfortunately, due to lack of readily available information on Betts like catalogues or sales ads from the era, I can't help you much more.

Should you choose to contact an expert on antiquities, be sure to take a number of good, close-up digital images and include them with your inquiry. This should help others greatly.

Thanks for the question-



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Mark Rimmer


I have been actively fishing for forty-five years! For nearly 15 of those years I was able to fish nearly 200 days per year. Those wonderful days have left me with a plethora of knowledge to share. I have fished from the Marianas of the Pacific to the quiet tidewaters of Virginia and North Carolina, Antigua the gulf coast of Texas and many places in between. My home waters are those of the west. I am passionate about bass fishing, tournament as well as recreational. In addition, I am well versed in fishing for most other species...(Okay, although interesting, I'm not an expert on British or European style competitive carp fishing...chumming with a slingshot anyone?). I am intimately acquainted with the San Diego County Lakes, Diamond Valley reservoir in Riverside County California and numerous other exciting fishing waters from Texas (Travis County) to the Pacific Coast and south to Cabo San Lucas. I have many years of experience in blue-water as well as inshore angling of all types in Southern California with both artificial and live baits; high country fishing in the Sierra Nevada Mountains of my beloved Golden State with nothing but a backpack and a fly-rod. There are still a lifetime of adventures to undertake, together with my lovely wife, Christine. I am an expert rod smith and have vast experience with both the construction and repair all types of rods including split bamboo (new or vintage) and hickory as well as graphite, boron composites and all types of fiberglass. I spent 20 years in the retail business of which 6 were spent owning and operating a successful tackle shop, specializing in custom rod making, rod and reel repairs and a full scale tackle selection. Uncommon topics I love to discuss: Fisheries Management; Tackle Shop/ retail management; Ethics and responsibilities of anglers; Repair and maintenance of rods/reels; "How to"...any topic in fishing.


I took a few years off,(5 to be exact) from answering questions for but I'm back now! My experience? Forty-Five years of bio-observation, fishing numerous types of waters with virtually every type of tackle: Casting, Fly, Spinning, Offshore/blue-water, Coastal, Surf, Tournaments: ( Bass, Local Saltwater), Alpine lakes/streams, ditches, canals, sloughs, marshes, creeks and swamps; if there is water, I usually throw a cast or two. Tackle Shop ownership and management, Expert Custom Rod Construction and repair (Big-game, Long-range stand-up, Live bait, jig sticks, Casting, Spinning and fly- including split-cane). I have personally constructed over 700 custom rods of all types...nearly half of the rods the shop turned out. I also have performed hundreds of reel repairs of all types- antique to modern. I do not typically offer valuation of tackle. This is very difficult without inspecting the tackle first hand and leaving valuation far to subjective. I will be happy to offer other experts for placing a value on your tackle.

NRA forever...(Gun rights...Guns and fishing rods belong together right?), belonged to BASS for most of my life but keep forgetting to renew. I like Trout Unlimited but again, keep forgetting to renew...gotta more tank of gas and some fresh line...or memberships? Hmmm.

None yet...why aren't they chasing me?

"Roads" Scholar. Life-long independent study of fisheries biology, ichthyology, aquatic/marine biology, ecosystems, angling techniques and observations of animals, fish and humans: both smart guys and knuckleheads.

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Self-Proclaimed tackleshop of the year! The California Tackle Box- Oceanside, Ca.

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Thousands served!

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